Hey guys it’s Sam and you’ve seen my Richard Cheese post right? (Click here if you haven’t)

Well, I have another band for you to check out. It’s called Air, and it’s not just the gas, or the MacBook Air. It’s from France, and I bet air isn’t French.

Oh…whoops…never mind about that.

But this band contains no joking. This is literally the next chapter in French electronica, downtempo, trip-hop, and ambient music all in the hands of two French dudes from Versailles.

Actually, the band’s name (Air) doesn’t come from the gas or the MacBook Air (why WOULD it come from the MacBook Air?). It actually comes from the bacronym (the thing behind an acronym) Amour, Imagination, Rêve. That means Love, Imagination, Dream to all you non-French people out there (no offense). But when you think about it, the acronym behind the bacronym behind the band’s name (again, Air) would actually have the acronym LID. That’s the acronym behind the acronym behind the bacronym behind the band’s name (for the third time, Air).

And time for the history which really takes a long time to go through and wastes time when you can be off playing Guitar Hero, or the HWRTALTTGTAWTWYCBOPGH as an acronym:

Air’s first release was an EP (extended play) called Premiers Symptômes in 1997.

Premiers Symptômes translates to First Symptoms, referencing Serge Gainsbourg’s song of the same name. Serge’s album Histoire de Melody Nelson obviously influences Air’s work.

This the track list, reissue bonus tracks and all:

  1. “Modular Mix” – 5:59
  2. “Casanova 70” – 5:53
  3. “Les Professionnels” – 4:32 (English: The Professionals)
  4. “J’ai dormi sous l’eau” – 5:42 (English: I slept under water)
  5. “Le soleil est près de moi” – 4:52 (English: The sun is near me)
1999 reissue bonus tracks
  1. “Californie” – 2:27 (English: California)
  2. “Gordini Mix” (Brakes On mix) – 4:22
    • Remix of Alex Gopher’s “Gordini Mix”
    • Alternately titled “Brakes On” in some regions
Japan edition bonus tracks
  1. “Le soleil est près de moi” [Buffalo Daughter Remix] – 4:48
  2. “Le soleil est près de moi” [Money Mark Remix] – 2:37

The whole album lasts for 27 minutes, but when re-released, was 33:51.

A year later, in 1998, Air’s first full-length album, Moon Safari, released.

The album features two of my most favorite songs, “Kelly Watch the Stars” and “Ce Matin-Là”. The album is considerably stated a classic of the chillout genre of music, which is basically mid-tempo electronic music. It is one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Acclaimed Music places the album at 129th in their list of the 3000 most greatest albums of all time. It scored hits with “All I Need” (featuring vocals by Beth Hirsch), “Kelly Watch the Stars”, and “Sexy Boy”, which grew into a major hit. This album debuted at #6 basically from the universally praising reviews and the success of “Sexy Boy”.

Here’s the whole track list, which adds up to 43:33 of music:

  1. “La Femme d’ Argent” – 7:10 (English: The Silver Woman)
  2. Sexy Boy” – 4:57
  3. All I Need” – 4:28 (lyrics Beth Hirsch)
  4. “Kelly Watch the Stars!” – 3:44
  5. “Talisman” – 4:16
  6. “Remember” – 2:34 (co-written with Jean-Jacques Perry)
  7. “You Make It Easy” – 4:00 (lyrics Beth Hirsch)
  8. “Ce Matin-Là” – 3:38 (English: That Morning) (co-written with P. Woodcock)
  9. “New Star in the Sky (Chanson pour Solal)” – 5:38 (English: Song for Solal)
  10. “Le Voyage de Pénélope” – 3:10 (English: Penelope’s Voyage)

In 2000, Air released a film score called The Virgin Suicides for the drama movie of the same name.

There was a separate soundtrack released with music from artists like Heart and Todd Rundgren. Here’s the track list to this 40:29 compilation of music:

  1. “Playground Love” (vocals by Gordon Tracks) – 3:32
  2. “Clouds Up” – 1:30
  3. “Bathroom Girl” – 2:25
  4. “Cemetary Party” [sic] – 2:36
  5. “Dark Messages” – 2:28
  6. “The Word ‘Hurricane'” – 2:33
  7. “Dirty Trip” – 6:12
  8. “Highschool Lover” (theme from The Virgin Suicides) – 2:42
  9. “Afternoon Sister” – 2:24
  10. “Ghost Song” – 2:16
  11. “Empty House” – 2:58
  12. “Dead Bodies” – 2:59
  13. “Suicide Underground” – 5:52
Japan edition bonus tracks
  1. “Bathroom Girl” [Demo Version] – 4:14
  2. “Playground Love” [Vibraphone Version] – 3:50

In 2001, their third album, 10 000 Hz Legend, released.

Songs are more longer and more oriented for electronica than past albums. These experimentations find Air expanding capacities and working with artists like Beck and Buffalo Daughter. Here’s the track list:

  1. “Electronic Performers” – 5:36
  2. “How Does It Make You Feel?” – 4:37
  3. “Radio #1” – 4:22
  4. “The Vagabond” – 5:37 (lyrics by Beck Hansen)
  5. “Radian” – 7:37
  6. “Lucky and Unhappy” – 4:31
  7. “Sex Born Poison” – 6:18 (lyrics by suGar Yoshinaga)
  8. “People in the City” – 4:57
  9. “Wonder Milky Bitch” – 5:50
  10. “Don’t Be Light” – 6:19
  11. “Caramel Prisoner” – 4:58
Japan edition bonus track
  1. “The Way You Look Tonight” – 3:46

In 2004, their fourth album, Talkie Walkie, released.

The title could reference the song “Le Walkie Talkie” by Serge Gainsbourg, a known influence of Air’s work. “Alone in Kyoto” was featured on the soundtrack for the film Lost in Translation, and the track “Run” was featured in the Veronica Mars episode “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner”. Talkie-walkie is actually French for walkie-talkie (wtf?). Here’s the track list:

  1. “Venus” – 4:04
  2. Cherry Blossom Girl” – 3:39
  3. “Run” – 4:12
  4. “Universal Traveler” – 4:22
  5. “Mike Mills” (named after music video director Mike Mills) – 4:26
  6. Surfing on a Rocket” – 3:43
  7. “Another Day” – 3:20
  8. Alpha Beta Gaga” – 4:39
  9. “Biological” – 6:04
  10. “Alone in Kyoto” – 4:51

3 years later, in 2007, their fifth album, Pocket Symphony, released.

The album features collaborations with Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon. It also incorporates some Japanese instruments Godin learned to play from an Okinawan master musician, the “koto” (mainly the Japanese floor harp), and the three-stringed banjo-like shamisen. However, a press release says that “conventional instruments continue to play a great role” in the duo’s music. The album features art by Xavier Veilhan. The second single, “Once Upon a Time”, can be heard on the band’s MySpace page. Speaking of singles, here’s the track list:

  1. “Space Maker” – 4:02
  2. Once Upon a Time” – 5:02
  3. “One Hell of a Party” (lyrics by Jarvis Cocker) – 4:02
  4. “Napalm Love” – 3:27
  5. “Mayfair Song” – 4:18
  6. “Left Bank” – 4:07
  7. “Photograph” – 3:51
  8. Mer du Japon” – 3:04 (English: Sea of Japan)
  9. “Lost Message” – 3:32
  10. “Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping” (lyrics by Neil Hannon) – 3:35
    • Neil Hannon – vocals
    • Nicolas Godin – guitars and koto
    • JB Dunckel – piano, synth bass, vibraphone
    • Strings arranged by David Richard Campbell
  11. “Redhead Girl” – 4:33
  12. “Night Sight” – 4:16

Bonus tracks:

  1. “The Duelist” (iTunes or OpenDisc bonus track) – 4:40
  2. “Crickets” (iTunes pre-order bonus track) – 3:32
  3. “Time Capsule” (Japan or OpenDisc bonus track) – 4:20

2 years later, the band’s sixth album, Love 2, released.

The album released in September 2009 in Japan, and in the first October week in the rest of the world. This album is the first production recorded at Atlas Station, their own recording facility.On 6 July 2009, a viral single, “Do the Joy”, was made available as a free download to existing Air newsletter subscribers. The album’s first proper single “Sing Sang Sung” was released digitally on 25 August 2009. An album mashup was made available to UK newsletter subscribers on 14 September 2009. The album was streamed worldwide for an interactive “listening party” on 28 September 2009, starting at 12:00 CET, for exactly 24 hours. Track names were not shown, but the album was played in order. Fans were also given the opportunity to comment on the album via Facebook, and their comments were displayed adjacent to the media player as well as an updating Google Maps view of where listeners were. The album can also be streamed on Air’s MySpace page.

Here’s the track list till further notice:

1. “Do the Joy” 2:59
2. “Love” 2:43
3. “So Light Is Her Footfall” 3:13
4. “Be a Bee” 3:45
5. “Missing the Light of the Day” 4:26
6. “Tropical Disease” 6:47
7. “Heaven’s Light” 3:51
8. “Night Hunter” 4:13
9. Sing Sang Sung 3:08
10. “Eat My Beat” 2:44
11. “You Can Tell It to Everybody” 4:09
12. “African Velvet” 3:47
13. “Au Fond Du Rêve Doré” (Online exclusive [French for “At the Bottom of the Golden Dream”]) 2:02
14. “Danger Zone” (iTunes pre-order only exclusive) 3:58
15. “The Dream of Yi” (iTunes exclusive) 5:29
16. “Indian Summer” (Japan bonus track)

NOW IT’S TIME TO CHECK AIR’S OTHER ALBUMS.

In 2002, a remix album, Everybody Hertz, released.

The album mainly composes of remixes of songs from the album 10 000 Hz Legend. The title is a pun on the R.E.M. alt-rock song “Everybody Hurts”.

Here’s the 45-minute tracklist:

  1. “Don’t Be Light” (Edit)
  2. “Don’t Be Light” (Mr. Oizo Remix)
  3. “How Does it Make You Feel?” (Adrian Sherwood Version)
  4. “Don’t Be Light” (Neptunes Remix)
  5. “People in the City” (Modjo Version)
  6. “Don’t Be Light” (The Hacker Remix)
  7. “How Does it Make You Feel?” (Edit)
  8. “Don’t Be Light” (Malibu Remix)
  9. “People in the City” (Jack Lahana Remix)
  10. “The Way You Look Tonight”

In 2006, Late Night Tales: Air, the band’s DJ mixtape, released.

It was mixed by Jean-Benoît Dunckel (one half of Air) and was originally intended as the 14th release (scheduled to release October 3, 2005) but was delayed a few times. The mix finally released a year later in September. And the 1:03:27 track list:

  1. “All Cats are Grey” – The Cure
  2. “Planet Caravan” – Black Sabbath
  3. “O’ Venezia Venaga Venusia” – Nino Rota
  4. I Shall Be Released” – The Band
  5. “Camille” – Georges Delerue
  6. “Ghosts” – Japan
  7. “The Old Man’s Back Again” – Scott Walker
  8. Come Wander With Me” – Jeff Alexander
  9. “Metal Heart” – Cat Power
  10. “Lovin’ You” – Minnie Riperton
  11. “For the World” – Tan Dun
  12. “Le long de la rivière tendre” – Sébastien Tellier(English: Along the loving river)
  13. “My Autumn’s Done Come” – Lee Hazlewood
  14. “P.L.A.” – Robert Wyatt
  15. “Let’s Get Lost” – Elliott Smith
  16. “Cousin Jane” – The Troggs
  17. “Musica” – Air/Alessandro Baricco
  18. Pavane pour une infante défunte” – composed by Maurice Ravel, performed by The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra(English: Pavane for a dead princess)

OK, the HWRTALTTGTAWTWYCBOPGH is finished. If you want to learn more, do research. I am EXHAUSTED!

L8trs, gators.

– Sam

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